Back to ba­sics

For­go­ing fancy op­tions can re­duce a home’s price sig­nif­i­cantly

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Todd Lewys

AS any­one who’s bought a new home knows, it can be — to say the least — a chal­leng­ing process. One of the big­gest chal­lenges (if not the big­gest) is stay­ing on bud­get. Af­ter watch­ing all the shows on HGTV, it can be ex­ceed­ingly dif­fi­cult not to deck out a home with all sorts of fine fin­ishes to cre­ate the wow fac­tor you’ve just seen on TV. Some builders have taken that ten­dency into ac­count, said San­dra Finch, the Randall Homes sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive for 23 Wain­wright Cres. “Randall Homes come stan­dard with sev­eral fea­tures, such as your choice of cab­i­nets (maple, oak or ther­mo­foil), a rib­bon-style gas fire­place in the fam­ily room (with­out floor-to-ceil­ing tile sur­round), and huge win­dows,” she said. “Know­ing that those things are stan­dard re­ally gives peace of mind to cus­tomers.” Although her show home — the Eldridge IV, a 2,145-square-foot, two-storey de­sign — is priced at $559,600, go­ing with ba­sic fin­ishes can bring the price down sub­stan­tially. “The one thing peo­ple need to re­mem­ber is that show homes come loaded with op­tions,” she said. “If you choose ba­sic fin­ishes — vinyl floor­ing, lam­i­nate coun­ter­tops, car­pet and tile back­splash and ac­cents (the dining room’s buf­fet area is lined with tile, for ex­am­ple) — and forgo fancy op­tions such as an ul­tra-deluxe en­suite, you can pur­chase this home for around $450,000 on a nice lot in a great lo­ca­tion.”

Even with ba­sic fin­ishes, it’s still pos­si­ble to in­fuse your new home with plenty of style. “As nice as gran­ite coun­ter­tops, lam­i­nate hard­wood floors and fancy en­suites and fire­places are, this home will still look beau­ti­ful with ba­sic fin­ishes,” said Finch. “You can al­ways up­grade to higher-end fin­ishes in the fu­ture, when you can af­ford to do it. The big thing is that you have a bright, spa­cious and very liv­able home to en­joy as soon as you move in. This is a home that just feels good to live in due to all the light, and the won­der­ful floor plan.” In a word — OK, two — the Eldridge IV’s floor plan is func­tional and flex­i­ble. That flex­i­bil­ity starts at the foyer (de­fined in style by taupe tile), where a for­mal dining room de­fined by quar­ter-high walls with pil­lars on ei­ther side of a wide en­trance can serve more than one pur­pose, Finch said. “It’s a space that can also be used as a den, play room or sit­ting/mu­sic room — the dinette area in the kitchen is so large, that you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to use it as dining room,” she said. “An an­gled coat closet to the left of the foyer adds func­tion, as does a wing next to the closet that con­tains a pow­der room, laun­dry room (with win­dow), stor­age closet and door for ac­cess to the dou­ble garage.” The garage door lines up with an­other door that opens onto a de­sign fea­ture that ranks ex­tremely high in util­ity quo­tient. “It’s a walk-in pantry that al­lows you to take your gro­ceries di­rectly from the garage into the kitchen. It’s a very popular fea­ture that ev­ery­one just loves,” Finch said. The kitchen/dinette area — which is neatly di­vided from the fam­ily room by a one-third maple capped wall with built-in shelv­ing on the kitchen side — is a space steeped in ef­fi­ciency. A dual-an­gled is­land that of­fers seat­ing for two opens up space on ei­ther side, while the ad­ja­cent dinette area can com­fort­ably hold a ta­ble for six. Mean­while, cabi­net and counter space abounds, and fin­ishes are rich and warm: cap­puc­cino maple cab­i­nets, taupe gran­ite coun­ter­tops, medium-brown lam­i­nate hard­woods and an off-white tile back­splash (that makes the dark cab­i­nets pop) with a taupe glass tile in­lay. Finch said the warm fin­ishes are the per­fect coun­ter­point to the area’s nat­u­ral bright­ness. “A big win­dow on the back wall, an­other large win­dow on the left wall an pa­tio door (that leads to a two-tiered deck out back) ab­so­lutely bathe the kitchen in light. The fam­ily room — which fea­tures an 18-foot ceil­ing — is also nat­u­rally bright due to a huge pic­ture win­dow,” she said. “Its fo­cal point is a rib­bon-style fire­place set in (light taupe) cul­tured stone next to a maple TV niche.” The Eldridge IV’s up­per level is an area loaded with func­tion and flex­i­bil­ity. To the im­me­di­ate left are a bed­room and loft; a sec­ond bed­room and main bath are po­si­tioned to the right of the loft, with the mas­ter suite set off by it­self across the way down its own curved hall­way. “Its en­suite is spec­tac­u­lar, and is a fea­ture most peo­ple keep even if they go for ba­sic fin­ishes through the rest of the home,” Finch said. “It fea­tures two sep­a­rate his and hers sta­tions with sink and walk-in closet on ei­ther side, and an oval, jet­ted tub de­fined by taupe tile trim in the mid­dle. The tub is both gor­geous and com­fort­able, and re­ally makes the en­suite into a spa.” Feed­back has been over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive about the home, she added. “Al­most to a per­son, ev­ery­one who’s gone through the home has said, ‘I could live here.’ With all its space, light and style, it’s a won­der­fully liv­able home no mat­ter whether you keep all the up­grades or choose to go with ba­sic fin­ishes. Ei­ther way, it of­fers in­cred­i­ble value.”

An oval jet­ted tub in the mas­ter en­suite is de­fined by

taupe tile trim.

The mas­ter suite is set off from the other bed­rooms

and main bath.

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